How to maximize ROI of a strategic response management platform

Written by
RD Symms
RD Symms
Updated on
  5 min read

Leading RFP teams and other responders have 16 percent higher win rates and 34 percent more revenue, according to the Responsive 2023 Strategic Response Management Maturity Report. Of those leaders, 52 percent use strategic response management (SRM) tools like Responsive. While most organizations use SRM to increase efficiency, improve collaboration and add visibility into response processes, selling its value to budget stakeholders often comes down to good ol’ return on investment (ROI).

To quantify your prospective ROI from a SRM platform, we recommend following the advice of one of our favorite customers, Microsoft: capture, quantify and communicate.

  • Capture user numbers, time spent on the platform, most-used content and other data available through the platform’s reporting capabilities.
  • Quantify the insight by comparing new data to old data (e.g., time spent searching for content before/after SRM) and attach a dollar value based on user salary averages.
  • Communicate the results to stakeholders such as team managers who want to optimize SRM tool usage and executives who are monitoring proposal team contribution to the overall organization.

SRM is usually brought in initially to fix one specific problem (e.g., increase RFP response efficiency by 40%). In doing so, a valuable collection of your best content comes together in the Content Library. By providing access to this library to your entire organization, other SRM use cases quickly arise in InfoSec, sales, marketing, legal, product development and more.

The best part is that we have proof that this works. The following four ROI profiles from Microsoft, CAPTRUST, AppviewX, and Teradata illustrate how to successfully achieve significant ROI by leveraging an SRM platform.

Microsoft’s time saved for the field

Microsoft, a global technology leader, implemented Responsive SRM in 2019. At the time,  leaders for the Microsoft Proposal Center of Excellence wanted to be able to share proposal-ready (i.e., vetted, compliant, up-to-date, technically accurate) content with the entire company. They targeted the global sales organization specifically, to enable individual team members to build high-quality proposals based on content under constant curation by the Proposal Center of Excellence team. After a meticulous approach to implementation, Microsoft now has more than 17,000 Responsive users.

Microsoft believes in a capture-quantify-communicate model of illustrating platform value. Data captured includes use count, number of active users, win rate, dollars won and ROI. For ROI, the primary metric is time saved for the field, from which they extrapolate a dollar amount saved. 

For example, in 2022, Microsoft saved 21K hours on 63K responses through Responsive. They saved $4.2M in search time alone (these numbers don’t quantify the fact that the answers found were always correct). Time not spent searching for content can instead be dedicated to building customer relationships and pipeline.

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For more on how Microsoft calculates their SRM ROI, how SRM is used across the company and why they’re excited about AI capabilities and API integrations, watch this video. Key Takeaway: Calculate how much time you spend searching for proposal content before you evaluate SRM platforms. As you progress through the proof of concept and trial the search functionality, you’ll be able to figure out how much time you stand to save.

CAPTRUST’s due diligence for implementing AI

CAPTRUST, a leading investment advisory firm, initially brought in Responsive for two reasons. One, they wanted to modernize their process. It had grown cumbersome to track whether responses were accurate, compliant and current in an Excel spreadsheet. Two, as a rapidly growing firm, they needed a solution that could scale with the escalating workload and expectations.

After using Responsive for responding solely to RFPs, CAPTRUST recognized that a centralized Content Library of response-ready content was valuable to multiple teams. They now use Responsive to respond to due diligence questionnaires (DDQs) and security questionnaires. Additionally, CAPTRUST uses Responsive to issue investment management RFPs, bringing the firm’s RFP process full circle on a single platform.

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Recently, CAPTRUST was one of Responsive’s first financial services clients to add AI Assistant. This intuitive generative AI solution trains on CAPTRUST’s Content Library, which keeps the firm’s information private. Financial services firms are notoriously skeptical about using AI for fear of compromising client privacy or proprietary data. CAPTRUST’s IT team and Responsive worked hand-in-hand to make sure that AI Assistant was in compliance with all security and privacy requirements.

For more on how CAPTRUST is unifying all of its response processes on Responsive, watch this video.

Key Takeaway: Build a clean, compliant Content Library for a single use case and then grant access to that content to your whole organization. The value of your proposal-ready content and contribution to the overall success of your company will spread quickly.

AppViewX’s increased content review efficiency

AppViewX, a provider of network automation and orchestration solutions, struggled with Responsive the first time around. They weren’t fans of the legacy user experience. Eventually, their Q&A library got so clogged up that it was difficult to search efficiently. They left and tried a different solution. But not for long.

After using the other solution for a short period, AppViewX realized that Responsive provided capabilities for  assigning reviewers for content curation that were necessary for their organization, especially after the upgrades to the user experience. They returned to Responsive and worked with the customer success team to clean up their existing Q&A library while establishing automated review workflows to prevent future contamination.

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Now, with increased content review efficiency, AppViewX is winning more deals. And AI is sure to identify even more efficiencies. Deduplication of redundant content is already making a major impact and the team is looking forward to figuring out other use cases.

For more on AppViewX’s future plans with Responsive SRM, watch this video.

Key Takeaway: Disciplined curation of your content library enables SRM users to leverage greater efficiency benefits. These benefits will grow exponentially as AI use matures.

Teradata’s 4X+ faster turnaround of security questionnaires

Teradata, a leading data analytics and cloud services provider, found their SRM ROI in higher RFP response quality and increased security questionnaire efficiency.

Initially, Teradata used Responsive for RFP responses and unsolicited proposal development in support of their go-to-market organization. Theirs is a highly competitive industry in which almost every vendor is able to satisfactorily complete an RFP response. To stand out, Teradata uses Responsive to create customized, accurate and more polished responses than its competitors.

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The Teradata InfoSec team also uses Responsive to automate responses to standard security questionnaires. Auto Respond produces an immediate first draft that the InfoSec team can then customize. They have cut their response time from 40 hours to 10 hours or less for each questionnaire.

For more information on how Teradata is exploring how to expand Responsive’s function as a content repository across the organization, watch this video

Key Takeaway: Manage change to accelerate ROI. Communicate the value of the tool to your sales team end users. Provide reports to executive leadership to validate your team’s contributions.

These four use cases demonstrate how to maximize the ROI of an SRM platform. By automating manual tasks, centralizing content, enabling collaboration and leveraging analytics, organizations can:

  • Streamline response processes
  • Improve the quality of response deliverables
  • Enhance prospect engagement
  • Increase chances of winning new business 

Watch these videos for insight on how you can capture, quantify and communicate to illustrate the ROI of SRM.

RD Symms

RD is a senior copywriter at Responsive. He has more than 15 years of experience in writing, content development, and creative strategy. Connect with RD on LinkedIn.